1-877 BLACKPR (252-2577)
For Immediate Release
September 17, 2012
Contact Information

Matthew Beatty
T: 305-948-8063, ext: 209
E: mbeatty@sonshine.com

(BPRW) THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS TO IMPROVE URBAN PARKS ON NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY, SEPTEMBER 29

- 2,100+ Volunteer Opportunities Open to the Public Around the U.S. -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – WASHINGTON – More than 170,000 volunteers are expected at more than 2,100 sites across the country on Saturday, September 29, to take part in the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States, National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), volunteers in every state will visit parks, urban green spaces, beaches, wildlife preserves and forests to chip in to help these treasured places that belong to all Americans. They will improve and restore the lands the public uses for recreation, education, exercise and connecting with nature.

“Research shows that residents of predominantly African-American neighborhoods sometimes have fewer opportunities for physical activity,” said JL Armstrong, NEEF board member and national manager, corporate affairs at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. “NPLD involves thousands of volunteers making a difference in cities and towns across the nation while participating in outdoor activities. We encourage everyone, particularly families and service groups, to join their neighbors on NPLD to make their communities the best they can be.”

The event last year contributed an estimated $17 million in volunteer services to public lands, which include planting approximately 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants, as well as building and maintaining 1,500 miles of trails. NPLD is also supporting first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside! initiative’s emphasis on involving children and families in outdoor recreation as a way to help reduce and prevent childhood obesity.

“With one-third of America's land in public hands, NPLD provides an opportunity for volunteers of all ages to help sustain these lands,” said Robb Hampton, director of the public lands program at NEEF. “Volunteers can also spend time after their tasks to enjoy the lands, whether at a local green space or national park. Many sites offer nature hikes, bike rides, picnics or other outdoor activities.”

With a long-standing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. is the event’s national sponsor for the 14th consecutive year. Northrop Grumman has joined as a contributing sponsor for the fourth consecutive year. September 29th marks the event’s 19th year.

Volunteers have unique opportunities to choose from, including—

• Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Ga. – As part of Georgia’s “Your State Parks Day,” volunteers will restore historic houses, clear debris and help mulch. Atlanta’s nonprofit Greening Youth Foundation will also hold a youth campout barbecue the evening before NPLD.

• Fort McHenry Field Day, Baltimore, Md. – The National Aquarium Conservation Team will pick up marine debris around the historic Fort McHenry wetlands. The event is also affiliated with the International Coastal Cleanup event.

• Globe Building Discovery Center, Detroit, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting the groundbreaking of the Globe Building, a 50,000 sq. ft. indoor exploration center for outdoor recreation along the Detroit Riverfront. The groundbreaking is part of Michigan Trails Week with statewide volunteer opportunities.

• Hermann Park, Bayou Parkland, Houston, Texas – The Hermann Park Conservancy invites individuals and corporate, nonprofit and social groups to help restore the natural wildlife habitat by removing invasive plants, planting trees and pruning plants.

• White Point Nature Preserve, Los Angeles, Calif. – The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy will work with volunteers to plant native shrubs, remove invasive weeds, spread mulch and clear trails within the 102 acres of restored coastal sage scrub habitat.

Events in every state, the District of Columbia and many U.S. territories can be found online now, searchable by state or zip code: publiclandsday.org/npld-sites. Eight federal agencies will participate—along with more than 250 state, county and city partners, and a host of nonprofit organizations around the nation.

NPLD is also a designated fee-free entrance day at many federal public lands including national parks. More information can be found at publiclandsday.org.

NEEF is the nation’s leading organization in lifelong environmental learning, connecting people to knowledge they use to improve the quality of their lives and the health of the planet.

We achieve this by providing knowledge to trusted professionals and other leaders who, with their credibility, amplify messages to national audiences to solve everyday environmental problems. Learn more at neefusa.org or on Twitter at @neefusa.

Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half a billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S.

For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy.